Murder charges filed in August death

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MANATEE COUNTY - Homicide detectives in Palmetto believe they have solved a murder case that began back in August.

32-year-old Michael Blue’s body was found in the mangroves near DeSoto Bridge on August 30th. Investigators initially charged 43-year-old James Bates with robbery in the case and have been holding him in the Manatee County jail without bond.

Prosecutors are now bringing Second Degree Murder Charges against Bates, in light of the medical examiner’s finding that Blue died of strangulation.